It is an unprecedented law signed Monday September 23 by Governor Jerry Brown which gives teens under the age of 18 to remove their own postings on websites such as Google and Facebook, posted in the Huffington post by reporter and blogger Kathleen Miles.
The L.A. Times carried the story from the Huffington Post using the phrase, California teens get an online "eraser button". "Kids and teens frequently self-reveal before they self-reflect." states Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media to the Huffington Post. "In today's digital media age, mistakes can stay with and haunt kids for their entire life. This bill is a big step forward for rights, especially since California has more tech companies than any other state."
Many of the social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vine, already allow users of any age to delete their posts, including photos and comments. Now, this "eraser button" law will require all websites with users in the state to provide a delete button.
This law is designed to help prevent teens from "shooting themselves in the foot". It can be embarrassing or harmful to college and job applications. The 2012 Kaplan Survey of college admissions counselors found that 35% of those counselors used social networking sites and certain types of activities, such as, alcohol and other "illegal activities" affected the applicant's admissions chances.
The new law, SB568, was authored by state Senate President Pro Temp Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento). The law also prohibits youth-oriented websites or heavily used websites by minors to eliminate advertising products that are illegal to under age persons, such as guns, alcohol and tobacco.
A similar bill in 2011 proposed in the House by Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass) and Rep Joe Barton (R-Texas) died in committee.
The new bill could be called, "you will thank me later", in true "Monk" style character "Adrian Monk", supported by Common Sense Media, Children NOW, Crime Victims United, the Child Abuse Prevention Center and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015.